Weatherization Program Updates
Recent program updates
Weatherization updates for 2019
Over the last 6 months Efficiency Vermont has been increasing our focus on weatherization and taking an in-depth look at how our programs can better support progress towards Vermont’s goal of weatherizing 80,000 homes by 2020. This has meant looking not just at the Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® program, but also thinking about other channels that we can build to help drive more customers to work with you to complete comprehensive weatherization projects on their homes.
We have also been focused on how we can bring more incentive dollars to the customers who need them most, in hopes of making weatherization more accessible to moderate income Vermonters.
As 2018 ends, and more Vermonters start thinking about how to protect their homes from the cold winter weather, here is a look ahead to 2019.
Here are a few key updates:
- Incentives for HPwES
- As noted above, we will be shifting our incentive structure to support more moderate-income customers in completing projects. This means we will offer increased incentives based on income eligibility for the HPwES program beginning in Q3.
- We anticipate a moderate-income bonus for qualifying homeowners beginning in the end of Q1 that aligns with the current HPwES incentive structure. So, qualifying homeowners would automatically receive an additional incentive on top of their HPwES incentive. The actual dollar amount will be shared prior to launch.
- After collaborating with contractors in the winter and spring we anticipate an incentive based on the customer’s gross income, rather than the energy savings of their projects. For simplicity, we expect to offer incentives that enhance the moderate-income homeowner’s incentives that align with the Heat Saver Loan tiers.
- Low income homeowners (<80% AMI) will receive enhanced incentives through a separate service delivery mechanism. More details will be available by the end of Q1.
- In mid-September of 2018, we launched a new DIY offering, as part of the statewide Button Up campaign. Customers who access this program can get up to $100 back to cover the cost of materials if they complete 3 actions from a menu of DIY projects. This is a seasonal rebate offer (available until 2/1 – though we may extend this timeline if there is continued customer interest), and our goal is to connect with a large number of Vermonters who have an interest in weatherization – ultimately to help bring them in as customers of the HPwES program. More information on this offer can be found at www.efficiencyvermont.com/DIY.
- To help catch more customers at times when they are already doing work on their homes, and get them to take on additional small weatherization projects, we will be relaunching the attic and basement incentive of $250/area
- EEN HPwES contractors and Out of Network contractors will be eligible to offer this incentive to their customers. Program details and process will be shared prior to launch.
- Estimated launch: Q1
- HPwES improvements, based on contractor and customer feedback
- Efficiency Vermont will be reaching out to EEN HPwES contractors this winter to identify HPwES program enhancements that improve the contractor experience for reporting completed projects. Questions will focus on incentive structure, process, and data collection (but will not be limited to those topics).
- Time of outreach: Q1/Q2
- Estimated launch of improvements: Q3
- Healthy Homes integration
- We are working with those contractors who have attended and passed the Healthy Homes evaluator training to complete a “Healthy Homes playbook” that outlines the health benefits of weatherization improvements and the process for providing Efficiency Vermont healthy homes services. We will be sharing this guide to help engage with health providers, contractors and others to ensure consistency and use of best practices.
- Estimated launch: Q1/Q2
In addition to the efforts outlined above, we are working on some small-scale and focused pilots to test new programs for future launch.